Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

We got hit with a major snow storm on Christmas Eve. Dire predictions all around, of course, but that's always the story. Thursday morning it was just rain and I went on to work as normal - I was the only one in since the staff had been given the day off but Clara was working from home, anticipating the storm and having been given half a day off thanks to good President Obama. No big deal for an hour or so. Then the rain turned to sleet. By 11, things had gotten bad. Okay, weather guys, you get this one. I headed for home.

Winds were going at around 30 to 35 mph with gusts to 50. The sleet had turned to snow and it was white out conditions for a good part of the way. My windshield wipers iced over, making visibility worse. I got off the interstate at the downtown exit and worked my way to Walker. Near disaster at the underpass just south of downtown - cars had gotten stuck at the bottom of the incline and couldn't get out. I darn near got stuck myself but managed to keep rolling and threaded my way past the stuck cars. Walker just kept getting worse so I went a half mile west to Western since Western is supposed to be a major snow route, kept clear with plows. But the plows hadn't made it to the south side so it was barely better than Walker and more crowded. Slow but steady going and I finally made it home.

Of course, Christmas Eve, and likely Christmas, plans were shot so we re-grouped. We'd just stay in, snacking on junk food. The only problem: we lacked junk food. So Rachel and I plunged back into the maelstrom, hitting first Homeland, then the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. As I tweeted, the crowds were about like those for the fall of Baghdad but we got what we set out for only, well, Wal-Mart didn't have what we thought they'd have so we'd have to go back to Homeland. After a stop at Blockbuster first. The weather kept getting worse, the drifts higher, and more cars and trucks were getting stuck. I gave Rachel a blow-by-blow lesson on how to drive in this stuff so she got quite a lesson. I just hope she never has to drive on her own in a storm like this. So. Blockbuster, Homeland again, and then finally back to the neighborhood and home. For good.

So we spent Christmas Eve as re-planned. Snacks, Night at the Smithsonian on the DVD player, and just snug and warm on a night fit for no one. Turned out to be the best we've ever spent. By 10:00, the skies had begun to clear and it looked like the worst was behind us.

Christmas morning. The dogs bladders know no holiday so they were up at their usual hour and picked their way through the snow to take care of business. Rachel joined me soon after - she wanted to make Christmas breakfast for everyone, like Grandpop Pete does only with her shirt on, and so we had eggs, bacon, and pancakes. Thanks, Rachel! Gifts next. Not a lot because of their high-dollarness but everyone was happy with what they got. What else could you ask for?

With the sun up, we got a glimpse of how bad the snow had been - 14 inches according to the weather service but the drifting made it hard to get an accurate measure. Looking at the table on the patio, I'd say about 8 or 10 inches. No matter. The drifts were several feet high.

Rachel took the dogs out for some snow frolic. Here they are:

But we still hadn't gotten out to check out how bad things were. Well, let's do it then:

The Pinkertons across the street were finishing up their digging out and loaned us their big shove so with Rachel helping out, we made substantial progess; we ought to be able to get the Sequoia out the driveway and, from the reports of the Pinkerton relatives arriving for their holiday dinner about how clear the roads are, we ought to be able to get out later, if we want.

A different kind of Christmas. That's what makes them more memorable.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that was quite a snow storm. It sounds like your family had a wonderful Christmas in spite of, or maybe because of, the big snowfall. Good for you.

    Hey, hit those squeaky overhead door rollers with some WD-40.